Still no depth chart from Syracuse yet (not like that's mattered much in the past anyway), but word came out between last night and this morning that H-backs Ashton Broyld and Brisly Estime will both be back in action this Saturday vs. Clemson. Broyld has not suited up for the Orange since the Maryland game, while Estime has been sidelined since the loss to Notre Dame. Both were suffering from lower body injuries.
Syracuse has certainly missed both pass-catchers in recent weeks, as the speedy veterans were some of the passing game's best options on screen plays, while they also provided a ton of great perimeter elusiveness overall. Estime and Broyld have combined for 21 catches and 265 receiving yards on the season. In the past, Broyld has also found himself involved in trick passing plays -- something that has been avoided in his absence.
Obviously things have seemed to improve in their absence for this offense -- mostly because of Tim Lester's appointment to offensive coordinator, and partially because A.J. Long is a better passer than Terrel Hunt. But you have to love what they'll immediately bring to the table now for Long, who has thrived throwing to Steve Ishmael and Jarrod West as his primary targets these past two games. While other players have certainly gotten involved receiving-wise, having two starting-caliber players added to the mix will allow Long more options and make it very difficult for opposing defenses to keep tabs on every playmaker SU has lined up. Ishmael already manages to find himself wide open a bunch (nine grabs for 165 yards and two TDs these past two weeks), so other distractions for defenses are only going to aid him more.
Again: NOT predicting an upset because of this information or any other notes coming out before this game. But having guys like Broyld and Estime back on the field only helps Syracuse's chances in what could be a fairly low-scoring contest -- or at least that's what Clemson would prefer.